2017 Loan Fund Success Story
There are many services that are needed in communities on Delmarva. But, where does the money come from to house these services? How do things like charter schools, libraries, drug treatment centers, health clinics, and homeless shelters come to exist? And, what would our communities be like without them? As a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution), the NCALL Loan Fund has proven to be an essential component for financing facilities like these to benefit communities throughout Delmarva. The Loan Fund is able to do what traditional lending institutions cannot - provide tailored loans and lending solutions to those who need it most. More than a bank, the Loan Fund gives necessary guidance and support to its customers to help get projects off the ground.
In FY 2017, the Loan Fund financed a homeless shelter; a traditional housing facility; two charter schools; an addiction clinic; a library in Delmar, DE; and the Lewes History Museum (part of the Lewes Historical Society). One of these facilities was HALO Ministries, an organization that provides programs and services to homeless men, women and children in Salisbury, MD. Prior to contacting NCALL, Celest Savage, HALO's Executive Director, said that the organization was paying a high monthly rent for their facility and their ten-year contract was coming to an end. They were interested in buying the building, but weren't sure they could make that happen. They contacted a bank for help. The bank was interested in being involved in the project, but couldn't provide the 100% financing that HALO needed. They suggested that Celeste call NCALL for assistance.
"NCALL staff got our vision right away," said Celest. "We needed 100% financing. Banks don't do that. NCALL filled in this need and made it possible for us to purchase the building." For HALO, and the Salisbury community, this has made a world of difference. Their previous footprint was about 12,000 square feet of space for their services. Now they have 30,000 square feet and are paying less than when they were renting. The extra space is being used to house more homeless individuals, including 11 new beds for emergency purposes when the weather is bad. They also were able to start two new programs, "Journey of Hope", a life change program for those seeking a way out of homelessness, and "Eagle Wings" for at-risk youth. These programs offer life coaching, tutoring, education in goal setting, communication and college or career prep in a supportive and loving environment.
During the past year, HALO Ministries has provided more than 80,000 meals; housed over 385 men, 280 women and 117 children; and helped 780 individuals in their resource and respite center.
In January, Celeste received a letter from Salisbury Emergency Services that meant so much to her and HALO Ministries. It said, "We want to thank you for saving lives this week." According to Celeste, "During times of cold weather, like we have had this winter, they usually have to pull bodies of homeless men from under the bridges. I've been with them when they have done that. Since we have more shelter space they didn't have to do that this time. That's why we do what we do - it's worth it.
Celeste really enjoyed working with the Loan Fund on this project. "It's neat to know there is an agency like NCALL, that helps so many people and organizations and still stays so personal. The staff was so easy to talk to and they caught the vision and saw the potential of a place like this. They seem almost like family."
About Loan Fund
NCALL's homeownership counseling helps households become mortgage-ready for conventional financing and special financing programs, such as FHA, VA, and Rural Development Section 502 mortgage loans.